The Trudeau legacy in politics continues as Justin Trudeau was sworn in as Canada’s 23rd prime minister November 4. Social media has peppered shots of a younger Justin Trudeau in 1980, watching his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, get sworn in as Canada’s prime minister. No doubt, there were similar scenes playing out on the grounds of Rideau Hall — generally home to Canada’s governor general — today as Justin Trudeau has a young family, with children ranging in age from 1-and-a-half to 8-years-old.
According to CBC News, Justin Trudeau has been quite busy at Rideau Hall, observing the swearing in of his cabinet after he himself got sworn in as prime minister. Trudeau also made it clear that he would be breaking with protocol from the very start — unlike previous prime ministers and their cabinet, his new ministers arrived via a bus and then walked with Trudeau to Rideau Hall. Governor General David Johnston was on hand for the swearing in, which saw some previous Liberal cabinet ministers during the tenure of both prime ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin return to the ministerial fold, while Trudeau appeared to hold true to his commitment to bring more women in as ministers.
Liberal veterans like Ralph Goodale, Scott Brison, and Stephane Dion all returned as ministers. Dion was once leader of the Liberal party, but due to a series of missteps, lost support. Women that became new Liberal cabinet ministers included lawyer Melanie Joly, Jody Wilson-Raybould (formerly a British Columbia First Nations chief), and Catherine McKenna.
Justin Trudeau has said previously that he wants to ensure there is gender parity in his cabinet. He has also said that he wants his government to remain focused on the people it is meant to serve.
“We will shine more light on government to ensure it remains focused on the people it is meant to serve,” he said. “Openness and transparency will be our constant companions, and we will work to restore Canadians’ trust in their government and in our democracy. We are committed to the highest ethical standards and applying the utmost care in the handling of public funds.”
To be sure, Trudeau has a number of challenges in the coming term. For starters, his father’s legacy is certain to be a measuring stick by which Justin Trudeau’s own political legacy will be measured. In addition, the previous Liberal government, led by Paul Martin, was plagued by the sponsorship scandal, which many are comparing to the Mike Duffy scandal the Conservative Party is continuing to deal with. The idea of honesty in politics is one which the public at large — it does not really matter whether we are talking about the Canadian or American public here — scoffs at, for the most part, and that means the current Prime Minister Trudeau has his work cut out for him.
Also, the National Post opined when Paul Martin was in power that he was simply hungry for power and denigrated his opponents for the sake of putting them down. While Justin Trudeau was noted for his lack of sullying his opponents and for running a pretty optimistic campaign as a whole, he is still very much in the honeymoon phase of his political career, having only entered the political scene in 2008 when he won the Papineau riding in Quebec, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia. While no person is ever perfect, Canadians, whether they voted for Justin Trudeau and his Liberals or not, can only hope that Canada’s newest prime minister and government will continue to uphold the promises that Trudeau made.
[Featured image courtesy of CBC]